HUGE FRI UPDATE: Tons of info on Savage, mainstream reactions, wrestlers talk, Impact ratings, more



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports from tonight's TNA house show in Amsterdam, NY, which is in conjunction with the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions tomorrow night in that city. Jeff Jarrett vs. Rob Van Dam, Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title, A.J. Styles vs. Tommy Dreamer and Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe headline, and Mick Foley will also be appearing at the show.

Tomorrow night includes a Raw & Smackdown combined show at Yakima, WA--the only regular WWE house show of the weekend, plus ROH's Supercard of Honor in Chicago Ridge, IL (Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong for ROH title, Briscoes vs. All Night Express in a street fight, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Shelton Benjamin, Davey Richards vs. Charlie Haas, Chris Hero vs. El Generico, Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana for the TV title, Steve Corino vs. Mike Bennett, Homicide vs. Michael Elgin and Bravado Brothers vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly), and a TNA house show in Plattsburgh, NY.

ROH will also be making a major announcement from a business standpoint regarding a deal that has been signed at 4 p.m. Eastern tomorrow aftrenoon. We will have it posted within minutes of the announcement here.

Bellator runs its final show of the the current season tomorrow night from Lake Charles, LA, with these TV matches: Richard Hale (204.4) vs. Christian M'Pumbo (199.4) for the light heavyweight title in a tournament final Patricio Pitbull Freire (145.8) vs. Daniel Straus (145) in the featherweight tournament final for a shot at Joe Warren's title Sam Alvey (184.6) vs. Karl Amoussou (185)

Sunday is the WWE Over the Limit PPV from Seattle featuring John Cena vs. The Miz in an I Quit match for the WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World title, Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole, Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth and Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the IC title as the top matches. There is also a TNA house show in Massena, NY.

Monday is Raw from Portland, OR. Tuesday is Smackdown and NXT from Spokane, WA.

A look at what happened to Brock Lesnar and his future is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also look at what will be one of the biggest long-term stories of 2010, which is the future of UFC on television after the current deal with Spike expires at the end of this year. We also look at TNA's new slogan, the Sacrifice PPV and a first-time ever match.

The issue is up on the site right now. A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up in a few days. Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.

You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.

Our lead story looks at Brock Lesnar's illness, with Lesnar talking about what went down, how Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos changes things both in the cage and for business, handicapping the fight, looking at the UFC's injury issues that have seen one main event after another go down the tubes. We look at Lesnar over the past year coming back from diverticulitis.

We also look at the future of UFC on television, including what is rumored to be the company's new destination, Dana White talks about the talks, thoughts on business strategy, and what moves Spike could make if they lost UFC.

We also look at the issues at TNA, the top stars, the Impact name, and what bad thing Sacrifice told TNA about its most loyal fan base. We also have full coverage of Sacrifice with a match-by-match rundown with star ratings, issues with the show, and poll results on the show.

We also look at the unveiling of a national postage stamp commemorating one of the biggest stars in wrestling of the past 40 years.

We also look at a world record WWE is talking about gunning for, perhaps at next year's WrestleMania, update on "Fast Five" business, Chris Jericho's return, KENTA talks C.M. Punk, Unique booking for a home town heel, anniversary of a famous Raw match, a WWE PPV name change and why and WWE call-ups and cuts.

We also run down the closing episodes of Tough Enough, a story about Bret Hart's last match as well as business notes on both the U.S. shows of the past week, as well as the tour of Mexico, with rundowns of the matches.

We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.

We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.

The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.

Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere. The Observer is now in its 28th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.


-- Mike writes: Just wanted to pass along a couple things about the coverage of Savage's death. The story is on the front page of espn.com right now. It's the same story on the AP wire but I found it interesting to see it on ESPN's home page. Also Tony Reali the host of Around the Horn on ESPN was 1 of the 1st people to post the story from TMZ on twitter and through out the program today he and the panelists used a lot of Macho Man references such as bringing up his minor league baseball past, when someone was eliminated from the show, he was given "the elbow from the top Macho Man style" and things like that. The show closed with them all humming his theme song as well. None of it was done in jest and was quite respectful of him. Tons of MMA guys, rappers (Ice T, B-Real from Cypress Hill, Pete Rock and others), football players, baseball players have all tweeted their respects to him as well. Arsenio Hall tweeted a few times about it and posted a youtube link of Savage's appearance on his show leading up to Mania 5. I'm sure if you got on there today you saw the guys from the business and BJ Penn and other MMA guys tweeting about it. I don't know if any of that would be considered news but thought you'd might be interested. His personality and celebrity truly transcended the business.

-- WWE on Savage: WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Superstars of his time, Randy Poffo, a.k.a. Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Poffo was under contract with WWE from 1985 to 1993 and held both the WWE and Intercontinental Championships. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We wish a speedy recovery to his wife Lynn. Poffo will be greatly missed by WWE and his fans.

-- As of this moment, there is no tribute planned for Savage on Sunday. Which doesn't mean there won't be one, only that right now they haven't planned anything. This goes against what we were told a few hours after the story broke. So I guess we'll wait and see.

-- TNA on Savage: TNA joins the entire wrestling world in mourning the passing of the legendary Macho Man Randy Savage. Savage was one of the most talented athletes to ever compete inside a wrestling ring. He truly transcended professional wrestling, becoming one of the true "icons" of our sport. Millions of wrestling fans grew up watching Savage battle other legends such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat and many more. Savage appeared with TNA during our 2004 Victory Road and Turning Point events - memorable moments that we hope wrestling fans will never forget. TNA hopes all of our fans remember Randy Savage's amazing life and career, and how he helped shape the sport as we know it today.

-- Hulk Hogan on Macho Man: I'm completely devastated, after over 10 years of not talking with Randy, we've finally started to talk and communicate. He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit, I just pray that he's happy and in a better place and we miss him. We miss him a lot. I feel horrible about the ten years of having no communication. This was a tough one. I just pray that Randy's happy and in a better place and we miss him.

-- Piper on Savage: To SAD TO TWEET..

-- Rock on Savage: RIP Randy "Macho Man" Savage - you were one of my childhood inspirations and heros. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family.

-- Bret Hart: I have no words to say. This one hits me hard. We lost one of the best.

-- Slim Jim on Savage: We're saddened by the loss. Randy was a beloved ambassador for the Slim Jim brand for many years and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.. He was their spokesman for years and was very well-known among non-wrestling fans for his famous, "OOOOH YEAH, SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM~!"

-- There are tons of others and more by the hour.

-- The New York Post in its story on Savage listed Ultimate Warrior as a wrestler from the 80s and 90s who had died. You know, because there were two Ultimate Warriors. The story even had two authors.

-- A rather depressing look by Fox News on dead wrestlers is up here.

-- DDP was on TMZ Live this afternoon talking Savage's death. The two worked together a lot in WCW in the late 90s and I think DDP would say that his feud with Savage was really what put him on the map as a main eventer.

-- Showbiz Tonight will talk about the death later this evening.

-- If you haven't checked it out yet, Dave Meltzer and I are joined by Larry Matysik for a one-hour-plus breaking audio on the life and times of Savage with tons of info not only on his WWF and WCW career, but also his pre-WWF career in the ICW and his time playing baseball. Tons of insight from Larry into his early days.

-- Dave has a big story on Savage for Yahoo.com here.

-- Impact did a 1.15 rating last night for the first big show of the new WRESTLING MATTERS rebranding. What's scary is the show opened at a 1.15, so all that work that went into making people think this was something new resulted in approximately 0 new people giving it a chance. Not like I didn't predict that a few months back when the rumblings first started about dropping the "TNA" name. It's another example of something that has been going on for 9 years now, TNA trying to solve problems by focusing on everything that isn't really a problem, and completely ignoring the biggest problem of all (the same guy writing the same awful show every week).

-- Speaking of TNA, Terry Taylor was axed today as head of talent relations and Bruce Prichard is moving up in the power hierarchy. He's been calling various non-TNA wrestlers over the last several weeks to see if they have interest in coming in. There is a lot going on in the company right now in terms of various people choosing sides, which Dave will talk about in next week's Observer.

-- WWE Uprising, which was the new name of Bragging Rights, is now listed on the AT&T Center website as WWE Vengeance.

-- Story here about Olympic gold medalist Douglas Morlan Blubaugh, 76, who also just passed away in an auto accident. He was driving his motorcycle and upon passing through an intersection was hit by a truck driven by a 73-year-old.

-- Smackdown tonight has a Jay Uso vs. Great Khali match that wasn't listed in the spoilers earlier this week.

-- Jon writes: Just wanted to let you know that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is scheduled to be a guest this Monday (5/23) on Late Night with Craig Fergusion. It's a late night talk show on CBS show that follows David Letterman.

-- Rosita of TNA tweeted this: In the oral surgeons office again... let's hope its good news today. Grrrrr...

-- The NSAC ruled today that 7-inch monitors will be installed at the judges' tables for all future UFC events in Nevada.

-- Bo Rotunda is the new FCW Champion, beating Lucky Cannon last night in Florida, who wasn't so lucky. The Tough Enough cast was there and we've got some spoilers elsewhere on this page about who apparently makes it down to the final three.

-- Alex Marvez talks to Austin Idol here.

-- EVOLVE 8 is tonight with Rich Swann vs. AR Fox, Tony Nese (isn't he a UFC judge?) vs. Jon Davis, Brodie Lee vs. Sami Callihan and Austin Aries vs. Bobby Fish. It's being billed as a style vs. style one night tournament event, I guess a takeoff of UFC 1. There is a coupon on the front page to get $5 off any single ticket or two general admission tickets for just $25 (normally $20 each). Only 1 discount per person and these discounts cannot be combined.

-- ROH has Supercard of Honor from Chicago Ridge, IL tomorrow night with Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong for the ROH Title and Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. All Night Express in a Chicago Streetfight as the top two matches. They're also making a big announcement about something, and all I know is that supposedly nobody online has successfully guessed what it is yet, and it's not a revolutionary new ranking system.

-- Don't forget THE VOICE VS. HULK HOGAN, Michael Shiavello interviewing the Hulkster, debuts tonight on HDNet.

-- What did you think of Wednesday night's Ultimate Fighter reality show?
Excellent 10.4%
Good 42.6%
Average 27.0%
Fair 3.5%
Poor 16.5%
51.3% of those responding didn't see the show

Which of these was the best on interviews?
The Rock 91.9%
Edge 8.1%

Who do you expect to win this fight?
Rampage Jackson 71.8%
Matt Hamill 28.2%

-- Video of the last time someone did an 80s Sting gimmick in TNA here.

-- Tough Enough's Ivelisse talks her departure from the show and quad injury here.

-- Chikara's Anniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show takes place this Sunday, May 22nd at the Ace Arena in Union City, NJ. Bell time is 4 PM ET. You can order tickets for this show by clicking here.

-- Add Kelly vs. Brie Bella and Chavo Guerrero vs. Sin Cara to the Over the Limit PPV Sunday.

-- Kris Zellner writes: In a little historical note, it was 20 years ago at Toreo del Cuatro Caminos de Naucalpan that Canek took the mask of The Blue Blazer who of course unmasked as Owen Hart.

-- Female fighter Marianna Kheyfets talks MMA with Scott Yager here.

-- Absolute Intense Wrestling presents TPI 2011, Friday May 20,2011 and Saturday May 21, 2011, 7:00pm Bell Time. Live from The AIW Arena, St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall, 12920 Madison Ave. Lakewood, Ohio.

-- The stars of the National Wrestling Alliance East and Pro Wrestling eXpress return to action on Saturday, May 21st at Renzie Park's Jacob Woll Pavillion in McKeesport, PA at 7:30pm.

-- Official and remaining New Japan Pro Wrestling Attack on the East Coast merchandise is now on-sale including package deals. Visit http://www.japw.net/njpw/index.html while supplies last.

-- Episode 14 of UWC Championship Wrestling is now online at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos! This week's featured match will see the Staten Island Wrecking Crew square off with Mind and Muscle in a battle to determine the UWC's top rulebreaking tag team! You'll also see footage from a recent UWC Board of Directors meeting as they meet to determine the future of UWC Commissioner Michael Grimaldi and the UWC tag team titles following a recent controversial title match

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